Brenda Hale had been married for 22 years when her husband, Mark, was killed in Afghanistan. He was the longest serving soldier to be killed in action. Describing the shock, grief and huge financial problems Brenda faced immediately after Mark's...
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Brenda Hale had been married for 22 years when her husband, Mark, was killed in Afghanistan. He was the longest serving soldier to be killed in action. Describing the shock, grief and huge financial problems Brenda faced immediately after Mark's sudden death, I married a Soldier, shows how her determination to fight for the rights of her two daughters and to take on the Ministry of Defense. She reveals the suffering of a bereaved forces family and looks at how she found a way through an event that threatened to crush her, by drawing on her faith and on a personal strength she didn't know she had. It shows the personal cost of war, and the need for support for those affected. Brenda's determination to fight for the rights of families affected by death in action led her into politics as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly. This is a story of heroism, love and loss, grief and isolation, but also of faith and hope
Brenda Hale had been married for 22 years when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, the longest serving soldier to be killed. His death sent shock waves throughout the military community, and was then compounded by the catalogue of administrative errors which led to months of financial turmoil. Brenda and her daughters were left with no money because her husband's Will had been lost. The MoD refused to accept responsibility. During these months she spoke out about the injustices and how families were treated post death in service. Her profile in speaking out led the DUP to ask her to stand for election in 2011 when she was successfully elected. She has since lobbied and campaigned robustly to have the Military Covenant UK wide and for the government to take full responsibility in looking after injured service personnel and bereaved families. She has a BSc (Hons) in Social Policy through the Open University and is Lagan Valley Member of the Legislative Assembly, Northern Ireland (Democratic Unionist Party).
Rachel Farmer is a newspaper journalist, magazine editor and communications professional with more than 25 years experience. Having worked as a feature writer and sub-editor, she is used to in depth interviewing and gathering information and also has a strong sense of what makes a good human interest story. Married to a chaplain in the British Army, she became friends with Brenda Hale in 1992 in Germany when their husbands served in the same regiment together on two operational tours - to Northern Ireland and Bosnia. In 1997 she became Director of Communications for the Church of England in Nottinghamshire until 2013, where she established a dynamic communications team. Rachel is now based near Portsmouth where her husband works with the Royal Artillery. She edits two quarterly magazines - one for the Worldwide Anglican Communion and one for the Armed Forces Christian Union, along with some freelance consultancy work. She also writes a blog on life as an army wife: firstname.lastname@example.org